Saturday, February 28, 2009

Like Athena from Zeus, he was born fully formed from Bennett's head

From Huffington Post

Jonathan Krohn, the author of "Define Conservatism" and political prodigy voted "Atlanta's Most Talented Child" in 2006, was the talk of the Conservative Political Action Conference for a brief portion of the afternoon session.


How, exactly, a 13-year-old (Krohn turns 14 on Sunday) got to this place is story of an intense, downright obsessive, interest in politics. Sitting at a table and signing copies his books -- his red tie flopping on top of the white tablecloth, a flag pin pinched to his sports coat -- he assigns credit for his fast ascension to none other than Bill Bennett.

"I got into politics when I was eight years old. Six years now. And I got involved because I started listening to talk radio. It goes back to one event. The Democrats filibustered something in the Senate when I was eight years old. I don't remember what it was on and I didn't honestly care when I was eight years old. I cared about the history and the Senate rules," he told the Huffington Post. "I listened to Bill Bennett and tons of other talk show hosts who talked about that and other policies and started branching out and caring about other issues in regards to politics. Bill Bennett really became an idol for me. I listened to him every morning from 6 to 9 for, oh, years. And I started learning more and started to be able to think on my own, understanding politics on my own. I started to be able to use my mind to engage in political conversations under the conservative banner."

He talks fast and with high-pitched emotion (no cracking of the voice), often banging his two fists against the table (each one holding a pen) for dramatic effect. His mother, naturally protective, reminds him at one point that he's talking to a reporter from the Huffington Post.

"I know he is a liberal," he replies. "But you are not the first liberal I talked to at CPAC."
Dude! It's like having a real life Alex P. Keaton speak at the conference.

Meanwhile, Jesus General has been doing some irreverent Twittering from CPAC. I noticed this entry: "The Youth for Western Civilization booth has the best deals on jackboots and truncheons at #cpac #"

Which I assumed was a joke about how "right-wing" the group is and how the name "Youth for Western Civilization" automatically makes one recall fascist youth propaganda. Then I googled the group's facebook page and saw this (bold emphasis mine):

The purpose of Youth for Western Civilization is to form a right wing youth movement.

Youth for Western Civilization educates, organizes and trains activists on campuses across the nation to create a subculture that promotes the survival of Western Civilization and pride in Western heritage.

Youth for Western Civilization provides guidance, educational materials, and funding for student groups which work for Western values on campus.

New groups will be established if none are present on a campus and all possible assistance will be given to those groups that wish to work with us.

The end goal of Youth for Western Civilization is an awakening of young Westerners that will fight for their heritage and their liberties against leftist occupation and restore sanity to American universities.
Then, to the right, I noticed the organization's crest: an arm carrying an axe. Which sure as heck looks like a fasces. If I had to guess, Jesus General's Twitter entry must have happened after he walked by the booth and saw the crest.

(Youth for Western Civilization crest) (Image of Fasces from Wikipedia)There isn't really much about the group on the web, but the SPLC has an entry about them at Hatewatch noting that the group's founders have flirted with white nationalist, xenaphobic and racist organizations.

A few days before CPAC, at a speaking event at American University sponsored by the group, Tom Tancredo (R - Colo)* suggested that immigrants need to adopt "white, anglo-saxon culture."

*See here for my previous entry on Tancredo's dog whistle nativism.

Update: In the comment section, Josh pointed out that the axe is actually a hammer symbolizing Charles "the Hammer" Martel. I offered some additional comments about this, here.


Josh said...

The symbol is a Hammer and it references Charles "the Hammer" Martel the French King who won the Battle of Tours of the Moor's in Southern France. Regardless of recent historical revisions of opinion on the battles significance the battle came to symbolize the securing of the West from foreign invasion which allowed Western culture and civilization to continue to develop uninhibited.

This leads into the premise of our groups existence, we oppose the concept of multiculturalism citing not only troubles in Canada, Spain, and Belgium as examples of potential failures or problems with the idea. But also the idea that Western culture is something we can be proud of, that the concepts of Constitutionalism, Individualism, Calvenistic worth ethic, etc are all things that make our culture so distinct. And of course our common tongue of English which anchors us in the West and unites us. We believe this culture should be preserved and our links to our Western roots maintained. In line with this we also oppose illegal immigration due to a total lack of assimilation among migrants.

It is the word assimilation that defines us, we welcome anyone regardless of race, religion, or creed so long as they choose to assimilate into American society and our Western culture. As assimilation by nature is a rejection of multiculturalism this of course makes us controversial, but racist? Hardly. I personally am Jewish and my grandfathers family was butchered in the Holocaust, and our director Marcus Epstein is an Asian American Jew, and our chapter Vice President is a Hispanic Catholic. I take personal umbrage at being declared racist by association of our group being labeled a Hate Group.

PS: Some of the more controversial events we have carried out stem entirely from our belief in free speech and what we see as a stifling of anything perceived to be offensive speech.

PSS: I encourage you to look closer at our group or attend some of our events, we recently held a free speech rally outside the EU Embassy in Washington due to collective European stifling of free speech.

C2H50H said...

Gosh, I'm impressed. Any philosophical movement that attracts primarily male, overwhelmingly young people who appear to have the depth of understanding of a sheet of single-ply toilet paper, is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

I wonder how the gauls felt about Charles Martel and his fellow long-haired kings of the franks, who a few centuries before had swept down out of the northeast and conquered them?

This assimilation thing, it sure seems like a great idea for the people who got here first (except for the indians, who missed the boat on that concept: "sure, you can come here, but you'll have to ditch your quaint ideas about land ownership first.") For the latecomers, not so much.

I predict that this organization will fall apart when its members grow up a little, to be replaced by other immature young twits, of course, of which there is an endless supply, as the replacements are going to want to have their own clubhouse.

Friar Zero said...

You always bring the very best absurdity. You should create a new category called "Sideshow of the Right".

Anyway. This reminds me of child-preachers. Have you ever seen these kids, like in Jesus camp? They are all very young, even younger than Khron and thoroughly believe religious doctrine and preach it and "perform miracles". They go out there on the corner and preach fire and brimstone and chastity and salvation.

And, probably just like Khron, they do it based on rote memorization without understanding the underlying concepts. They couldn't hold their own if confronted with an educated opponent or give a coherent explanation of the meta-beliefs that drove their decisions to be a christian (or conservative in Khrons case).

I am torn though between feeling sad for the boy and using him to mock the oversimplified and childish discourse of talk radio.

Oh, and yeah, the Youth for Western civilization sure sounds nativist, tribalist, and racist. They accept all colors and creeds so long as you act like a white christian protestant. I would love to see their wacky definition of multiculturalism.